Montana University System

Compensation Philosophy and Objectives

 

I.        Philosophy:

The Montana University System shall maintain a compensation program for faculty, staff, and administrators that is directed toward attracting, retaining, and rewarding a highly qualified and diverse workforce to serve students and the State of Montana.  Within the affordability boundaries of students and taxpayers, compensation shall be externally competitive within the appropriate national, regional, and/or local market, internally equitable considering the mission and focus and peer institutions of the employing unit, and based upon contribution, content, and complexity of the work, career commitment, and merit.

 

II.      Objectives:

A.      To establish compensation levels for positions on the basis of relative internal equity and external competitiveness within relevant labor markets;

 

B.      To encourage employees to make a performance difference where results/outcomes are more important than entitlements and to reward employees on the basis of work performance coupled with career commitment to the system and support of the missions of the institution and the Montana University System;

 

C.      To focus on the value of total compensation, which includes salary and non-salary benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave programs;

 

D.      To provide an opportunity for employees at every level to attain professional fulfillment and excellent performance in a framework of equity, impartiality, and fiscal responsibility;

 

E.      To ensure accountability, affordability and access, and excellence for students and taxpayers, and the wise expenditure of funds entrusted to the Montana University System to reach those goals.

 

III.    Strategies:

A.      Internal equity means that individuals will be paid similarly for similar work, productivity, and contribution to the unique mission of the unit, institution and the Montana University System.

 

B.      The size, mission, and nature of the employing institution define relevant market considerations, in part.  However, beyond the relevant market considerations, the size of the institution, budget constraints, and funding source shall not be used as the exclusive rationale for establishing salaries.

 

C.      Researchers who generate funding for their salaries and who stimulate increased research, student, economic development, and technology transfer opportunities may receive compensation that rewards their contributions.

 

D.      Merit-based salary adjustment determinations will be based upon a comprehensive assessment of an individuals’ job performance, along with documented, positive impact on the mission of the unit, institution, and Montana University System.  Other factors may be specified by the system and/or employing institution.

 

E.      External competitiveness will be determined on the basis of average salary levels of individuals in comparable positions in the various labor markets inside and outside of higher education in which the institutions compete, along with relevant turnover and recruitment data.  Higher education institutions used for salary comparison purposes will vary based on individual campus characteristics.

 

F.      The overall level of compensation is intended to attract and retain the highest caliber faculty, staff, and administrators while maintaining the appropriate level of tuition and fees to allow the institutions to attract and retain a strong student base.

 

G.     Compensation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.  These analyses will be used, in part, to support the system’s efforts to obtain appropriate salary funding from the state and justify tuition increases.

 

Taking into account the above factors and the applicable processes by which each campus arrives at salary decisions, overall compensation parameters will be established by the Board of Regents on a biennial basis.

 

Rev. 04/05